Nintendo – From Playing Cards to Video Games

Believe it or not, Japan’s Nintendo (TYO:7974) wasn’t always a video game company.  In fact, the company is more than 100 years old, and when first launched, it was a card company.  Over the course of 100 years, it had tried a variety of different ventures, including a taxi company and a love hotel. 

It first ventured into what it’s now most known for, video games, in the late 1970s and launched its first console in North America, the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1985.  Over the past 24 years, the system has of course gone through several incarnations. In 1989, it launched a series of handheld products such as the GameBoy and Nintendo DS, and then the company brought to market the Wii, which has been extremely popular, outselling Sony’s Playstation 3 three to one, until the last quarter.

The Wii is the first in the family to use motion-sensing controllers and the second to use optic discs rather than cartridges.  When Wii launched in 2007, it faced some issues with the controller.  People were using too much force with the controller and it was crashing into the television (or other parts of the room).  All Wii remotes now come with a jacket, which gives the controller a better grip.  There are also notices at the beginning of each game disc, which warns people not to be too forceful.  

 The latest addition to the Nintendo family is a handheld device called the Nintendo DSi.  A newer, updated version of the DS, the system include a larger screen and a camera.

Nintendo opened on the Tokyo Stock Exchange at 27,000.00 on Wednesday, April 15.   Its 52-week high was 63,900.00 and its 52-week low was 21,600.00